So you are starting a new business and have registered your business name - what’s next?
A strong visual identity will identify and position your new business, product or service in the marketplace. What do you want to tell your potential customers? Remember, your logo is the first thing they will see and your first opportunity to influence them - they will already be forming an opinion about your business so make sure the right thoughts are setting in their minds.
1. Get it professionally designed.
Sounds simple but some businesses whip something up themselves or get it done cheaply and then plan to commission a properly designed logo when the business is more established…wrong! By using a 'cheap' or 'unprofessional' logo you put your business at risk of appearing unstable from the onset. You need to create a strong visible identity to communicate credibility, and ultimately longevity in the marketplace. Cheap designs can imply ‘small time operator’ to your potential customers and this is how they will also perceive your worth (you can’t charge the big bucks then).
Once you have your shiny new logo apply it to printed collateral and online to create consistency across your branding. And invest in quality printed materials.
2. Your Logo should work across all platforms.
OK so this is not referring to train stations! Your logo will not always have the opportunity to be viewed in its original format. It may appear small on a website or in a black and white publication. One crucial point of quality logo design is that it should be flexible across a wide variety of formats. It could appear on a MYOB form, letterhead, uniform embroidery, on a vehicle, a trade banner, in a sponsor grouping or newspaper ad. Also make sure when the logo is reduced it does not become indistinguishable, for eg, text that cannot be read or lines that are too fine.
Your logo should always work in the following formats:
Black and White (grayscale format)
Reversed out of a dark background colour
In small scale size (for e.g, as part of a sponsors panel at the bottom of a billboard).
In social media avatar / profile picture / online format
3. Keep your original logo artwork on file
Once your logo has been professionally designed, it should be supplied to you in the following formats: Vector, PDF, Jpeg and Png files. Also ask for the colours (PMS & CMYK for PRINT and RGB for WEB) and the font family for future reference and use.
PDF, EPS files are vector (line art) files and are always used for PRINT.
JPEG (logo on a white box) and PNG (logo on a transparent background) files are used for WEB.
4. Protect it!
If a printer/supplier needs your logo always give them original artwork. Do not let them 'scan your logo from your business card' or 'guess the colours'. Do not have a ‘that will do’ attitude towards your logo’s reproduction. Remember each time it is seen, it is representing your business.
If you are a large company, consider a guidelines manual to ensure quality reproduction of your logo in all promotional situations across your business. This will provide guidance for your employees and end users to give your logo stability and consistency in the marketplace.
If you need to trademark your logo get onto it! And while you are at it BUY the domain too.
Till next time – happy business-ing : )